District 1 1-A Girls Basketball Tournament Consolation… Unaka battles back to down Hampton in OT

Published 1:56 am Tuesday, February 22, 2022

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
HAPPY VALLEY – The Great Warrior must have been looking down from above with a big smile to see the gymnasium which bears his name, Charlie Bayless Gymnasium, filled to capacity for the 2022 District 1 1-A Girls Consolation and Championship games on Monday evening.
After a moment of silence to remember Charlie Roscoe Bayless who passed earlier in the day, it was time for basketball as even though the first game was a consolation, one couldn’t tell it by the battle put up by both the Hampton Lady Bulldogs and the Unaka Lady Rangers.
The Lady Rangers trailed by as many as 14 in the first half before battling back to take the lead in the second half and the game ended up going an extra four-minute session before the Lady Rangers took the third-place contest 72-70 on a last-second shot by Kiki Forney to seal the victory.
Hampton was the early aggressor as the Lady Bulldogs were executing their game-plan to perfection in the first half building a 37-23 lead at the intermission.
Madi McClain was doing the damage in the half as she totaled 14 points for the Lady ‘Dogs. McClain had plenty of offensive help as Linsey Jenkins dropped in eight points including two treys and Taylor Berry came up big in the second period by scoring seven.
Hampton hit six treys in the opening half.
The District 1 1-A Player of the Year, Lyndie Ramsey, was doing what Lyndie Ramsey does and that is score points as she paced Unaka with 14 in the first half. Tara Whitehead added four points.
In the second half, the game flip-flopped as it was the Lady Rangers who took the upper hand as the Hampton offense which was so solid in the first half struggled mightily in the second half.
The Lady Rangers kept making a big charge at Hampton offensively cutting the lead to 40-34 with 2:29 left to play in the third quarter after Forney drilled a three and Ramsey chipped in with a deuce.
Unaka outscored Hampton 15-8 in the quarter.
A Forney trey with 4:40 remaining in regulation gave Unaka their first lead of the contest at 47-46. From that point it was slug fest as neither team was looking to give an inch.
With 14 seconds left to play in regulation, the Lady Rangers were clinging to a 59-56 advantage but Hampton had one final shot and what a shot it was.
McClain was being doubled up before getting enough space to launch a trey as the clock was ticking toward zero. The ball kissed every portion of the rim before falling through as the horn sounded to send the game to overtime tied at 59-59.
In the overtime session, both teams were going at it with all they had before Ramsey found Forney breaking toward the basket with the final seconds ticking down for the go-ahead bucket and a Lady Ranger victory as the horn sounded as the ball fell through the nets.
Hampton was led by McClain with 25 points with Jenkins adding 16, Berry 12, and Macy Henry 11. Unaka got a game-high 36 points from Ramsey and 11 points from Forney.
With the win, the Lady Rangers travel to District 2 2-A number two-seed Washburn (16-12) on Friday at 7 p.m. Hampton, meanwhile, will travel to District 2 2-A one-seed Cosby (11-17) on Friday as well for a 7 p.m tip off.
District 1 1-A Girl’s Tournament Consolation
Unaka, 72-70
Hampton (70)
Linsey Jenkins 16, Madi McClain 25, Macy Henry 11, Piper Helle 4, Taylor Berry 12, Ryleigh Nickles 2.
Unaka (72)
Lyndie Ramsey 36, Macy Ensor 8, Tara Whitehead 4, Callie Hardin 2, Mailey Guy 9, Kiki Forney 11, Julie Simerly 2.
Hampton …..    19  18    8    14  11 – 70
Unaka ……….  13  10  15  21  13 – 72

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